A Rhode Island native who rooted for the Red Sox growing up, Lou Gorman cut his teeth as an executive with the Orioles, Royals, and Mariners. Gorman then helped build the Mets' talented roster in the early 1980s before he was hired by the Red Sox in 1984. His new club almost defeated his old one in the 1986 World Series, when the Red Sox were just one strike away from beating New York in the Fall Classic. Earlier in the 1986 season, Gorman had made key roster adjustments, including the acquisitions of Don Baylor, Dave Henderson, Tom Seaver, and Spike Owen. These acquisitions propelled the Red Sox to the playoffs, where they overcame the Angels in the American League Championship Series before falling to the Mets.
Following the near-championship of 1986, the Red Sox stayed competitive, particularly in 1988 (after a midseason managerial change) and 1990. In both of these seasons, Boston won the American League East but were swept by the Oakland A's in the ALCS. Unfortunately, Boston fell to last place in 1992 and ranked fifth in 1993. At the end of the 1993 season the club looked for a new general manager, however the well-liked and congenial Gorman stayed on with the club, first as an executive vice president and later an executive consultant.